Costco may not be coming to Okatie Crossing after all, according to a developer involved in the long-awaited project.
The project, proposed for the intersection of S.C. 170 and U.S. 278, was supposed to be completed in late 2016 and then early 2017, but discussions appear to have slowed, according to Doug Horne, president of Horne Properties and developer of Okatie Crossing.
“I haven’t heard anything from Costco,” Horne said Wednesday. “They are still not committing to a deal. We never could make a final financial deal with them.”
Horne said he last spoke to company representatives two months ago and that the plan had reached an “impasse ... on the costs we would absorb into the deal,” Horne said. “... I don’t know if (the deal) is totally dead or if they will come back someday.”
No locations in Beaufort or Jasper counties are listed on the wholesale corporation’s list of new locations scheduled to open soon, but a store will open next month in Mount Pleasant — making it the second Charleston-area Costco.
When asked this week about the status of the possible location, Costco said in an email that it does not comment on future warehouses until the corporation is “ready to share details about the new location.”
Horne told The Island Packet last year that there was a possibility for anchor stores in the shopping complex such as Academy Sports, Kohls, Lowes and Marshalls.
As of Wednesday, no contracts had been signed with any of those retailers.
“They aren’t committing,” Horne said. “A lot of it is because of the online selling and home delivery. Stores are having to rethink their plans. Things are kind of slow in retail.”
The site remains for sale, Horne said. He added that a sit-down restaurant and another retailer he declined to name have expressed interest in locations there.
Meanwhile work is still scheduled to build a “micro hospital” within Okatie Crossing. Plans for the facility were announced in January by the Medical University of South Carolina and Beaufort Memorial Hospital.
The facility will have 20 beds and serve both pediatric and adult patients for, primarily, short stays. The campus is expected to be 60,000 to 70,000 square feet.